"We cannot understand our contemporary experience if we don’t look at when, how, and where it all started." Ferran Adrià.
Ferran Adrià is the culinary mastermind on a mission to get to the root of how humans' eating and drinking habits have evolved over time, in his latest in-depth offering and Phaidon publication: "The Origins of Cooking: Palaeolithic and Neolithic Cooking." The book forms the third in the Bullipedia collection developed by the elBullifoundation, following on from Coffee Sapiens (2019), and What is Cooking (2020).
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In this latest edition, the culinary genius continues his research with relentless fascination for the origins of food culture. With his elBullifoundation he engages with experts such as archaeologists, anthropologists, historians and chefs to help piece together the past, and the evolution of our relationship with food over time.
The book is easily navigable, divided into the four essential stages of food evolution, from the pre-fire Palaeolithic era and the discovery of fire for cooking, to the settling down of nomadic hunter-gatherers with livestock and farms, and the invention of pottery, which revolutionised the way we cook and eat. Slowly the pieces become recognisable as the history of fine-dining, and the pursuit of food as pleasure.
Diagram showing the percentage of energy consumed by the brain at rest as it increased markedly with each new species.
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The book isn't cheap, but for those professionals and amateurs who want to have a deeper knowledge of food, it's a small price to pay for a slice of history from one of cooking's biggest legends.
Picture: "Evolution of Life on Earth: The evolution of life on our planet is punctuated with important milestones. This chart presents some of them."
Picture credit: ©elBullifoundation //Shutterstock.com / Wikimedia Commons